Kansas lawmakers seek audit of foster care, adoption programs amid allegations of discrimination

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LEAWOOD, Kan. -- Kansas Governor Sam Brownback says he supports an audit of the state's foster care and adoption programs, amid controversy over the handling of same-sex adoptions in the state.

Kansas lawmakers say they want to closely examine the Department of Children and Families' policies amid allegations of discrimination against same-sex couples.

Foster families held a Christmas party on Thursday night at Ironwoods Park where the focus was on celebrating the holidays, and giving the kids and their families a special night of fun together.

That was the goal for Darol Rodrock, a foster care advocate who wanted to do something special for all the families.

“I would like to have these kids believe in themselves and to have hope,” said Rodrock.

It`s a night of bonding for Christina Cartwright and her foster daughter, Kelly, a teenager she plans to adopt.

“I just decided one day that I loved her and that I couldn’t imagine my life without her. I couldn't imagine my family without her, it feels like our family is complete now,” Cartwright said.

The holiday party seems light years away from what`s happening in Topeka where Governor Brownback and a slew of other lawmakers have called for an audit of the state`s foster care and adoption programs. They cite criticism that the Department of Children and Families discriminates against same-sex couples and express a desire to review all the department`s policies.

“I think it's good for the department to be audited in general on occasion, just because there are areas where they're not doing very well. So I think for somebody to come in from the outside and look at what's going on and hold them accountable is absolutely good,” said Cartwright.

Rodrock agrees, a foster kid himself, saying state leaders should do whatever it takes to ensure the system is fair and these kids come first.

“My concern is that someone loves a kid. That's my only concern, so if the federal law says you can't discriminate, I'm not going to say you can or can't have a child. I want loving people to lift a child up,” he said.

The audit is expected to be approved in January. Politics aside, one thing everyone in the room agreed on is that the kids deserve a loving home and a loving family.

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